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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Fact Sheet: Corporate Concentration

Grocery stores today are filled with many products, name brands and the appearance of choice: cereal consumers have an abundant and colorful array of products from which to choose, dairy cases are filled with different grades and brands of milk, meat counters boast row upon row of prime cuts. However, a handful of multinational food companies produces and processes most of these foods. Corporate control of the food industry is so broad that only a few companies dominate the entire food chain from seed to finished product. This is corporate concentration in agriculture.

Low Price: Pushing Farmers off the Land

  • Corporate agribusiness, through its market power and its influence over policy makers, is the driving force in setting farm policies. 1
  • As a result, the market prices of most crops, effectively set by domestic farm policy, are well below the cost of operating the farm.2 This enables multinational corporations to buy raw materials at the lowest possible cost while farmers struggle to cover the cost of production.
  • To make up for the huge gap, between market prices and production costs, the U.S. government uses taxpayer dollars to provide farm subsidies. Unfortunately, these billions most often go to corporate farms not family farms. 3

Genetic Engineering: The Elimination of Farmers’ Rights and Livelihoods

  • Two multinational companies, Monsanto and DuPont, dominate the US seed industry. 4
  • Farmers who buy genetically engineered seeds are forced to sign contracts that dictate how and when the crop can be grown and deny farmers the right to save seed for the following year.
  • Many farmers, whose crops have been contaminated by GE pollen drift, have been sued, by Monsanto, for unknowingly and unwillingly "possessing" GE seeds.

Corporate Food: Higher Quantity, Lower Quality

  • Corporate food has to travel almost 1,500 miles on average to get to your dinner plate. It is picked or processed days in advance and it is often specially treated, processed, genetically engineered, or irradiated. 5
  • Agribusinesses already process and market 95% of the food in the US. 6

Corporate Concentration: Removing Consumer Choice for Local, Fresh Food

Just like the farmer who can no longer sell his goods to a variety of buyers, consumers may soon lose their food choices. This is a real danger; by the time American consumers realize that corporate food is not always good food, all the local or independent companies could already be gone - eliminated by the corporate giants. To prevent this from happening, Farm Aid partners with and supports family farm organizations that fight for fair farm policies at local, national and international levels. These advocates help give family farmers the tools they need to bypass corporate giants and create a family farmed food supply.

Source: Farm Aid


Trailshome said...

Good Morning, just thought I'd pop in and say thanks for all the good information out there. Almost done with this marathon and you're hanging in there!

The Thinker said...

Sorry I bailed on you! Geeze, my head is killin' me, I shoulda just stayed up!

I had a dream about you right before I got up, Phelan. Nothing interesting. We were in a very crowded place and we recognized each other (though neither of us knows what the other really looks like.)

I took a long, long crowded bus ride. Then got to some place with lots of buildings. I remember climbing stairs outside.

Now that I think about it, it looked kinda like the market at a mmorpg I've been playing. LOL

Anyway, you had already been there and were louging on the grass with a group of people. We acknowledged each other with a nod and I carried on up some stairs with my group. Then, I woke up.

Funny, huh?

Phelan said...

Trailshome, thank you for stopping by. I have 1 hour left.

The Thinker, you gave me the cold shoulder. Really? I swear. . . .

Trailshome said...

Only one hour left! Hang in there, it won't be long now. It's a good thing you're doing.

The Thinker said...

I know! I can be such a bitch sometimes... even when I'm asleep.

What are you going to do today? Got any plans to take a nap and rest that back?

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